Investigating the Anti-Cancer Properties of Plants
In this resource, pupils carry out an investigation into the presence of vitamin C, an antioxidant, in the different parts of different plants. This is put in the context of Dr Jess Chu, a young scientist researching Malaysian rainforest plants to see if they have any antioxidant, anti-cancer or antibacterial properties. Students learn about how a scientist goes about her research, compare their investigations with Jess's, and discuss the similarities and differences.
This resource includes full teachers' notes, foundation, higher, extension and plenary activities, a case study, a students' worksheet and technical notes for the practical.
Vitamin C, an antioxidant, is a reducing agent which reacts with the blue dye DCPIP (short for dichlorophenolindophenol), turning it colourless. This can be used as a test for vitamin C. Vitamin C will dissolve in water, so pieces of plants can be ground up with water to make vitamin C extracts. The quantity of DCPIP that loses its colour when mixed with a plant extract indicates how much vitamin C is present.
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